The #MeToo movement came to India as the much-needed kick in the face to many predators in power. The movement that created ripples in Hollywood and dethroned many predators at the top like Harvey Weinstein. When many women spoke up about their horrible experiences with Harvey, Hollywood united to take a stand. When the #MeToo movement trickled down to India, we had expected at least a little bit of the same effect here. While the movement had arrived in full force and unveiled predators in many organizations and mainly Bollywood, it, unfortunately, lost momentum after a few months.
If you list out the number of names that had come out in the course of a few months last year to appropriate actions taken against them, you’d be left disappointed. There are many predators walking free having resumed work brushing off a number of sexual allegations against them. One of the biggest shock to most of us was when music director Anu Malik‘s name popped up when many women including singers Sona Mohapatra, Shweta Pandit, and Neha Bhasin had opened up on Twitter about his inappropriate behaviour with many women. The music director who was lying low for a while now seems to have returned in full force. He is currently judging Sony TV‘s popular singing reality show Indian Idol 11.
But today, Sona took to Twitter to tell the world that this is NOT okay. She called out the channel and the makers for reinstating Anu Malik as the judge despite a number of women speaking up against his inappropriate behaviour in an open letter.
Take a look:
Before Sona penned down this letter, she had tweeted about an interview she had given to a regional newspaper a while ago talking about how she was asked to leave Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as a judge overnight because she spoke up against Anu Malik. Singer Neha Bhasin agreed with Sona calling Anu Malik a predator and detailing her interaction with Mr. Malik.
Here’s what she had to say:
It is post this Twitter conversation that Sona wrote the strong open letter.
Like Sona mentions in her letter, back in 2018, Shweta Pandit was one of the first celebrity singers that opened up in detail about what happened after Sona.
Take a look:
It is disappointing and quite honestly disgusting as to how easily Bollywood has forgotten what these perpetrators have done to a number of women. Are we ever going to do something about this? So that women stop feeling unsafe at their own workplace? As Sona said, will it really take a Nirbhaya level crime or tragedy for us to raise our voices and arms against these predators?
We as a team and as an organization stand with you, Sona, Neha, and Shweta. We see you and hear you.
We won’t shut up, either.